Posts Tagged ‘Lebron James’

Recap: Cavs 87, Sixers 86 (or, Ugliest Win of the Season?)

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Wow… that was Furkan hard to watch!

There were potentially three reasons to tear yourself away from March Madness to witness this late-season contest between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers…

1) To see if the Cavs would snag their 16th straight home victory

2) To see if LeBron James would pass Patrick Ewing to crack the top 20 NBA scorers of all time

3) To see who would win the battle of the flat-tops… Nerlens Noel or Iman Shumpert

Unfortunately, the pain of watching what deteriorated into a brickfest for the ages pitched defensive struggle for much of the second half, made it difficult to stay tuned for the full 48 minutes (unless you’re a fan of train wrecks and Turkish rookie Centers…).

In what could win the award for “Ugliest Win of the Season,” the Cavs were able to keep their home win streak alive, primarily because the Sixers kept refusing to accept their generous offers to end it. And for a while, not even KLove bobble-head night seemed like it could prevent the Cavs or the sellout crowd in attendance from nodding off into oblivion.

Here’s how it all went down…

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The Point Four-ward: What Is And What Should Never Be

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Not long after Steve Nash announced his retirement last week, this story broke: had Nash asked for a buyout from the Lakers around the trade deadline, the Cavs had interest in bringing the 18-year vet on board to spell Kyrie Irving for limited minutes. The move made some sense because a.) LeBron James has always been a big Nash fan b.) both Cavs GM David Griffin and Director of Player Administration Raja Bell are close with Nash from their time together with the Phoenix Suns and c.) the Cavs, at least at the time they were considering this move, were looking to shore up their backup point guard spot.

Nash, however, chose to stay a Laker, the organization with which he wanted to end his career. And, really, you have to wonder if Nash would have been able to give the Cavs even the 10-15 minutes a night they were looking for, as he has not played in a game all season and has only played 65 games for the Lakers since they acquired him prior to the 2012-13 season.

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Kevin Love is Not Fitting In (to your Preconceived Notions of Kevin Love Fitting In)

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

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Editors Note: This piece was published with editorial contributions from Nate Smith and EvilGenius, and with scouting contributions from Ben Werth. Also, please check out David Wood’s Links to the Present published earlier today.

On January 13, the Cavaliers lost their sixth game in a row to drop below .500 (19-20).  Kevin Love played particularly poorly, shooting 3-11 from the floor and posting a team-worst -19 in under 27 minutes.  He rode the pine for the entire fourth quarter.  (It was not the first time Love had been benched for the entire fourth quarter of a non-blowout: on December 26th, Coach Blatt, searching for answers, ran with an ultra-small lineup of LeBron-Delly-Dion-MMiller-TT in the fourth quarter and it worked – the Cavs outscored the Magic 27-14 and won by nine.)  Despite the fact that Markieff Morris (or as LeBron referred to him “one of the Morris twins”) torched King James in the fourth, Kevin Love’s lackluster defense and poor shooting was the story of the game, and the “Kevin Love’s Not Fitting In” theme was an undeniable reality of the young (but not that young) season. But ten weeks later, is that “theme” still even relevant?

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The Point Four-ward: More Rest For The Wicked?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Count me among those who were actually surprised to see LeBron James suited up for Monday night’s game against the Miami Heat. After tweaking his knee in Sunday’s game against Orlando, James, who has spoken publicly of his desire to get some more rest before the playoffs start, chose to stay in for this road contest against his former team (and, likely, because of that).

After a couple of months in which James has sat out the occasional game on occasion (most recently, at home against Portland and on the road against Indiana) in order to give his body a couple more days to get right, James played, only to aggravate a wrist injury (in a collision with Hassan Whiteside) for his troubles.

Cavs head coach David Blatt has stated his desire for the Cavs to hold onto the second seed in the East going into the playoffs, so it’s unlikely that James will take off as lengthy a stretch as he did in December into January. Especially with the team resting Kevin Love, the Cavs need James if they are to win enough games to give Number 23 a prolonged rest.

As of now, Love is expected to play tonight against the Brooklyn Nets, though nothing definite has been announced.

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Recap: Cavs 128, Spurs 125 OT (Or The Night Kyrie Irving Devoured The World)

Friday, March 13th, 2015

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Okay…

I want to be clear about one thing: this recap won’t even come close to doing this game justice.

It just won’t. I apologize, but that’s just the way it goes. The best recap, CtB readers, was given by you and you can take a look back on it by scrolling through the unspooling of emotions (and the over 700 comments) that make up our Live Thread.

But, this game does deserve some recapping and I will happily oblige.

The Cavs and the Spurs played a game for the ages on Thursday night. With the Cavs down by six with 33 seconds remaining, Kyrie Irving hit two threes to bring the wine and gold even at the end of regulation, including a ridiculous heave as time expired to force the OT. Irving finished with 57 points, the most by any player this season, including going a perfect 7-7 from deep and 10-10 from the free throw line.

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The Point Four-ward: Just The Most Recent One

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) Professional athletes have a fickle relationship with the term “statement game.” They don’t like it.

Well, that is, they don’t like it unless they do.

Most of the time, players will give statements like this one by LeBron James following the Cavs 127-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks:

“It’s just the most recent [game]. Obviously, we played a great game. The best thing about tonight is we played a complete, 48-minute game. We pushed the tempo, we shared the ball, we defended, it was a great game for us.”

Just the most recent game.

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Recap: Cavs 127, Mavericks 94 (Or revenge is a dish best served with milk gravy)

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

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The Mavericks absolutely steam rolled the Cavs by 29 in their matchup on January 4th at The Q. It was the low point of the season for me. LeBron was in the middle of his rest sabbatical. The following day Dion Waiters was traded for an injured Iman Shumpert and notorious malcontent J.R. Smith. Since that date the Cavs have the best record in the Eastern Conference and the new acquisitions have proved to be the perfect supporting cast for LeBron, Kyrie and Love. If the next five weeks are a playoff primer, the Cavs will be ready for the final coat come mid-April.

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Recap: Cavs 120 Raptors 112 (Or, absorbing the haymakers, going the distance)

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

WOW.  If this was a playoff game it would have been an all-time classic.  The Cavs caught the Raptors foaming at the mouth with revenge and somehow overcame a 69 point half.  They blew a 19-point lead and honestly when the Raptors took the lead 93-91 on a backbreaking Lou Williams’ triple I thought the Cavs might lose by 19.  But the Cavs absorbed everything the Raptors had to give, and silenced a raucous crowd over and over and over and over.  There were a month’s worth of big shots in the second half alone.  The Raptors stayed supernova hot, but LeBron James is the cosmic equivalent of a quasar – and his massive presence overshadowed everything that happened down the stretch.

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The Point Four-ward: MVP! MVP?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

First, if you haven’t read David’s excellent recap of last night’s win over the Celtics, do that first. Then, continue on to—

Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) All of the MVP talk that sprouted up around James following the Cavs brilliant performance against the Golden State Warriors last Thursday got me to thinking: what is the most number of games a player has missed in a season and still won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award?

In two games this past week, James came out with guns blazing against the current MVP front-runners, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Stephen Curry of the Warriors. Against the Warriors, James was magnificent, scoring 42 points on 15-25 shooting in what turned into a relatively easy victory against the team with (at the time) the league’s best record. Against Houston, James shot poorly (15-25 from the floor, 3-11 from the free throw line) but played as spirited and springy on defense as he has in a very long time. Regardless of how it ended, put his team in the position to win a game on the road against one of the league’s best teams without the help of the team’s all-star point guard.

Did James do enough in those two games to convince me that he’s still the game’s best player?

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Recap: Rockets 105, Cavs 103 (or, an Epic Battle for MVP…)

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

LBJHARDEN

For fans of nationally televised, playoff-intensity basketball, it didn’t get much better than this overtime thriller between the Cavs and Rockets. And for fans of MVP-style match ups, there wasn’t a much better one to be had than The King vs. The Beard. Though the Cavs came out on the short end in this one, they fought hard against the third best team in the West and had a shot to win in the end. But, it’s hard to win on the road against good teams… and harder still when plagued by turnovers, rough shooting nights from downtown, too much MVP-ISO ball and (most importantly) poor free throw shooting. (more…)